ASTRON is responsible for the operations of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) and the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR).


The astronomical research at ASTRON is closely aligned with the strengths of our facilities LOFAR and WSRT-APERTIF.

Research and Innovation

Radio astronomy delivers important breakthrough technology for our society.

News & Events

Read all our latest news here.

Making discoveries
in radio astronomy

ASTRON is the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, and is part of the Institutes organisation of NWO.
Humans of ASTRON: Harish Vedantham

In Humans of ASTRON we share stories about the people at ASTRON. In this episode we interview Dr. Harish Vedantham, junior scientist and working at ASTRON since 2018.

Cosmic flashes come in all different sizes

On May 24, four European telescopes took part in the global effort to understand mysterious cosmic flashes. The telescopes captured flashes of radio waves from an extreme, magnetised star in our galaxy.

Data release from the first year of the Apertif imaging surveys

The Apertif imaging team has released science data from the first year of science operations of WSRT-Apertif as the Apertif Data Release 1 (DR1). Now the entire astronomical community can access the data collected by Apertif in its first year of observing, which started on 1 July 2019.

First direct detection of a brown dwarf with a radio telescope

Astronomers at ASTRON  have discovered a brown dwarf with LOFAR. The discovery of the object dubbed Elegast, opens up a new path that uses radio telescopes to discover faint objects that are close-cousins of Jupiter-like exoplanets.

Humans of ASTRON: David Prinsloo
Humans of ASTRON: Bernard Duah Asabere
First phase of DISTURB completed
Humans of ASTRON: Ágnes Mika
Humans of ASTRON: Zheng Meyer-Zhao
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National Geographic Prize Photo

© Robert van der Meer

Local photographer Robert van der Meer from Assen has won the National Geographic Photo Competition 2020, in the category "wildlife". His hunting-ground is the protected central area of the Europe-wide LOFAR radio telescope, between Exloo and Buinen. Last September he spotted a "waterral", a shy bird that is rare in the Netherlands.

His success is entirely consistent with the ASTRON Mission Statement, "to make discoveries happen".

Robert's prize consists of a smartphone and a year's subscription to the National Geographic magazine. But what he values most of all is that his picture will be published in the December issue.


Applied RF technology course

Mon 17 May 2021 - Thu 20 May 2021

The RF course is an excellent introduction for Digital / Analog engineers who are or will be involved in the development of RF systems.


Latest tweets

We've made a new video of our walking route the #Melkwegpad. via @YouTube

Daily image of the week: DR1. The Apertif imaging team has released science data from the first year of science operations of WSRT-Apertif, which can now be accessed by the scientific community.
#radioastronomy #DR1

In about half an hour, at 12.15, ASTRON researcher @AJBoonstra will be live in the Dutch radio programme 'Zoek het uit!' on @RTVDrenthe to answer some questions about the Westerbork synthesis radio telescope. You can tune in here:
#WSRT #radioastronomy

The latest Humans of ASTRON features Harish Vedantham, who was recently involved in the radio detection of a brown dwarf.
#humansofastron #radioastronomy #Elegast